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How I Retrain my Brain Every Day

I have spent years bouncing from therapist to therapist, with little to no positive outcome. 

This past year, I went through the most severe depressive episode of my life, and it led me to my current mental health counselor.

She has already done more for me in two months, than all of the others combined, throughout the past 11 years living with my mental illness. Sometimes you don’t mesh well with certain therapists, and that’s okay. It might take time to find the right person to work with, and I’m so thankful that I took the time to find the right one.

This counselor places an emphasis on my strengths, rather than my weaknesses. She aims to help me “retrain my brain,” so that I will start to think about my own strengths as well, each and every day.

During one of my first sessions, my counselor suggested to me a method that she often uses with her clients to help them focus on their strengths. She gave me a simple necklace, with a solid colored stone (and let me choose the color), and told me to wear it every day.

Every time I  looked at this necklace, I had to think of each one of my strengths. Each time someone compliments my necklace, I have to think about my strengths as well. The strengths can be anything. A few of the strengths I came up with were: resilience, willingness to share my story with others, and compassion.

I have a tendency to focus on my weaknesses, and “beat myself up” over the negative things that happen in my life. This exercise has given me a chance to focus on something positive about myself and has forced me to acknowledge the good things about myself, rather than what I consider negative.

How I Retrain my Brain Every Day

Caiti Gearsbeck

Caitlin is an advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention and lives with a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. She is passionate about spreading awareness and sharing her story and hopes to help others living with mental illness feel less alone in their journey.

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APA Reference
Gearsbeck, C. (2017). How I Retrain my Brain Every Day. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 9, 2020, from


Last updated: 2 Dec 2017
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